After having the opportunity to travel the country this past fall and meet all the best teams in college wakeboarding, there were some that stood out to me. These weren't always the best team in the region or the largest, but the ones that brought the party!
At each of the five events we picked one team that brought the mood to a new level and made the event just that much better for everyone there. I am not talking about drinking here, but just setting the tone for everyone else to come out of their comfort zone and have a great time.
From the East was the mighty club of Florida State University. This team brought 30 riders to Atlanta, took up two cabins and always had something going on. They were willing to help in every way, and every member was excited to be there. The level went up a notch when they took home the win. They partied from the second they got to Atlanta. It was like our very own welcoming committee. On Saturday, during the event, even though it was cold and raining, they built fires, brought food and kept the spirits high. Saturday night was even better. After the awards and their first place team victory, they had the music cranking in their cabins, lights flashing, and the hot tubs full. It was a prefect way to start the season.
The next team is no surprise as they already received team of the year. Virginia Tech brought only four riders to Atlanta but 15 to Cincinnati. Both events caught the cold front, and all they did was have a great time. In Cincy, after the event they all went straight to Wake Nation and rode in the freezing cold all afternoon enjoying every second they could squeeze out. This team never complained about one thing and made it to back to back events. They have been nothing but amazing to be around and a value to the tour.
The third team comes from Louisiana and, although they didn't make the top 16 this season, became one of my favorite teams to party with. They showed up to Beaumont, Texas and showed us what was up. I find their name very suiting as well. I am talking about the University of Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns. After getting to know Ory Comeaux and the Ragin' Cajuns, we asked them to make sure they mailed us some team shirts so we could support them while in other states.
Lastly, as we made our way to the west coast for the fifth and final stop, we got the chance to spend some time in the amazing San Diego Hilton Resort with the team from Chico St. These guys had flags with money on them, a great team and went hard all weekend. The best was the award ceremony at the San Diego Boat and Ski Club. Chico cheered for every team and stole the mic to say a few words. That was just the half of it. They were gracious enough to invite us to Chico, California to see a little more. If you didn't read the article published on AllianceWake.com (A night with Chico State) with their photo shoot, please refer to that.
The 2009 season brought out the best in College Wakeboarding. We can already see the tides turning and this level coming around to where it should have been all these years. The vibe is up and the events are an all-around great time. We look forward to seeing what the teams will bring to the table in 2010 and are excited to see all the riders and teams who return.
Thanks for Wakeboarding!